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RE: Regular expression for URI matching

I find it difficult to believe that all developers, or even most developers,
feel this way. Or, should I say, I find it difficult to believe that most
developers would feel this way if their technical leaders take some efforts
to help them understand.

I'm reminded of the Netscape vs. IE question (and why I'm glad they both
exist). When code goes out to the users, I want them to have the most
forgiving environment; when code is being developed, I want the least
forgiving. In our HTML development group, we're successfully convinced
people to use Netscape for their primary development - if you mess up your
tables enough, it doesn't display. But the Java developers all use IE; there
you want to be able to see the HTML even if it's slightly messed up for now.

I can see the same thing with this kind of tool - the developers of that
particular type of content use it in strict mode while other developers use
it in lenient mode.

<>< gary

-----Original Message-----
From: Nicolas LEHUEN [mailto:nicolas.lehuen@ubicco.com]
Sent: Friday, August 24, 2001 3:36 AM
To: 'Michael Brennan'; 'xml-dev@lists.xml.org'
Subject: RE: Regular expression for URI matching

The problem is when you have a developer that produces malformed content,
then compares development tool A and development tool B to decide which one
he'll buy. Development tool A, being more strict, rejects the developer's
content. Development tool B does not. So the developer buys the B product.
This is a phenomenon that keeps marketers and product managers awake at

Maybe the solution is to educate the developer himself ?


>-----Message d'origine-----
>De : Michael Brennan [mailto:Michael_Brennan@allegis.com]
>Envoyé : jeudi 23 août 2001 21:15
>À : xml-dev@lists.xml.org
>Objet : RE: Regular expression for URI matching
>Thanks for passing this along (although that regular 
>expression makes my
>brain hurt ;)). 
>It's too bad, though, that Altova is completely removing it. I 
>the reasoning. We've all heard the admonition: be strict in 
>what you create,
>be forgiving in what you accept. Unfortunately, the 
>overwhelming majority of
>developers follow the path of least resistance. Forgiving web 
>browsers is
>one reason there is so much buggy, malformed content on the 
>web. The typical
>web developer writes a web page, brings it up in the browser, and if it
>displays, they are done. If web browsers were more strict, 
>developers would
>produce more conformant content.
>Maybe Altova should just add an optional feature that lets a 
>user explicitly
>disable the URI checking. That way, at least, they could 
>accomodate their
>customers without inadvertently leading naive developers down 
>the path of
>bad practice.
>> -----Original Message-----
>> From: John Cowan [mailto:cowan@mercury.ccil.org]
>> Sent: Wednesday, August 22, 2001 7:15 PM
>> To: xml-dev@lists.xml.org
>> Subject: Regular expression for URI matching
>> Alexander Falk of Altova, the XML Spy people, posted the following to
>> an internal W3C mailing list.  With his permission, I am reposting it
>> here so that it will be archived.  Anyone may use it, but this
>> information is provided "as-is" with no warranties whatsoever 
>> regarding
>> the correctness of the information.
>> ----- Forwarded message from Alexander Falk -----
>> This is the Regular Expression (RE) we originally used for the anyURI
>> dataype within our XML Spy product up until 4.0b2:
>> (([a-zA-Z][0-9a-zA-Z+\\-\\.]*:)?/{0,2}[0-9a-zA-Z;/?:@&=+$\\.\\
>> -_!~*'()%]+)?(
>> #[0-9a-zA-Z;/?:@&=+$\\.\\-_!~*'()%]+)?
>> It was constructed according to the BNF grammar given in RFC 2396
>> (http://www.ietf.org/rfc/rfc2396.txt) and we used this RE to validate
>> elements and attributes whose datatype was anyURI.
>> However, we've found that (a) many customers actually use 
>> illegal URIs in
>> their documents happily, (b) XML Schema Part 2
>> (http://www.w3.org/TR/xmlschema-2/#anyURI) doesn't require 
>> any validation of
>> the contents of the anyURI dataype, and (c) most customers 
>> don't want us to
>> validate stronger than what other processors are doing.
>> Therefore, we are currently eliminating the anyURI checking [...]
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